The astroinformatics group of the Universidad de Concepción is an interdisciplinary effort that gathers computer scientists and astronomers to face challenging problems in the era of big data and major astronomical projects. The ESO European-Extremely Large Telescope (E-ELT), the Giant Magellan Telescope (GMT) and the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST) will produce several tens of petabytes of data per year all combined. LSST alone will produce 15 terabytes of raw data per night, mapping the the entire southern sky every three days during 10 years. The most efficient management and processing of the enormous data volume produced by those observatories require the development and use of advanced computational techniques, capable of performing complex tasks – such as target detection and selection, multi-wavelength photometry, lightcurve analyses, morphological classification and stellar mass estimates of galaxies, SED analyses, etc. – in a fully automatic way. In order to cope with the tremendous number of sources that will be observed and the large data volume, the most suitable approach to the successful production of scientific catalogs and other data products involves the use of artificial intelligence techiniques such as deep learning.
Our group is composed by experts from the Department of Computing Science of the Faculty of Engineering, and from the Department of Astronomy of the Faculty of Physical and Mathematical Sciences. The astroinformatics group is also part of the larger data-science group of the Department of Computing Science. As a whole, we have access to high-performance computing resources as well as a large variety of astronomical catalogs and data set that are used to develop and test advanced tools that allow us to carry out state-of-the-art projects in astrophysics and computer science, and get ready for the data avalanche to come in the near future.